Skip to main content

Saudi King has 'full confidence' in Egypt's security

Outcome of Egyptian President Sisi's visit to the Saudi capital on Wednesday reaffirmed the close cooperation between the two countries
Saudi King Salman greets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in Riyadh this week (AFP)

Saudi King Salman has expressed "full confidence" in Egyptian security measures, ordering Riyadh's national airline to continue flights to Sharm el-Sheikh despite suspicions a bomb downed a Russian jet flying from the resort town.

An ally of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the king "directed Saudi Arabian Airlines to continue running flights to Sharm el-Sheikh from Riyadh and Jeddah in support of tourism in the Arab Republic of Egypt," the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

"The king stressed full confidence in Egyptian security, army and government," it said.

Sisi on Wednesday promised a transparent probe and cautioned against hasty conclusions over what brought down the Metrojet Airbus A321 over Egypt's Sinai peninsula on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board.

The Islamic State militant group's Sinai branch claimed responsibility, but has not explained how it carried out the attack.

Britain suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh after saying it feared a bomb caused the disaster and voicing concerns over airport security at the Red Sea resort. Russia also halted all flights to Egypt.

Sisi was in Riyadh this week for a summit of Arab and South American states.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt agreed on Wednesday to establish a coordination council tasked to implement the “Cairo Declaration,” which outlines facets of cooperation between the two states.

The declaration, which was agreed in late July, includes military and economic cooperation, with major investments to be funnelled into the energy, electricity and transportation sectors.

Egypt's tourism industry, vital to its economy, has already suffered from years of political instability and attacks claimed by militants.

Saudi Arabia has offered billions of dollars in aid to Egypt since the 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.